cover image Dawn


Tim Lebbon, . . Bantam Spectra, $12 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-553-38365-2

In this flawed follow-up to Dusk (2006), a genre-bending amalgam of horror and fantasy that saw the ascendance of the vengeful Mages, Angel and S'Hivez, the dark powers continue their rampage across the land of Noreela, which they condemned to eternal darkness after killing Rafe Baburn and devouring his seed of magic. The fellowship that helped Rafe on his flight across Noreela—Hope, Alishia, Kosar and Trey—is left with one small hope: Alishia's conviction that Rafe passed her a small bit of what he carried; Noreela can be saved if Alishia reaches the mystic city of Kang Kang. Dusk was a revelation as a shocking, vital tale of a dying land, but Lebbon overplays his hand in this sequel. No longer dying, Noreela is essentially dead and in need of resurrection, and all but the few main characters appear resigned to destruction at the hands of the two-dimensional Mages. Not even Lebbon's wild inventiveness—bio-metal-stone war machines and rolling sentient balls of bone and flesh—can compensate for the hopeless scenario and wooden villains. (Apr.)